I have two degenerative diseases in my corneas–corneal Fuchs’s dystrophy and Salzman’s nodules. The impact on the eyes is like peering thru a dirty windshield, which becomes even cloudier. Eventually you’re legally blind. Except for cornea transplants, there is no cure.
Enter the VA … again. The San Antonio VA lacks a cornea specialist. Last visit with the ophthalmologist at San Antonio Military Medical Center (Department of Defense), he told me he thought I could have the first transplant in late April. I’m feeling good and grateful.
However, since my initial Authorization Letter from the VA to the Department of Defense was expiring, I had to request another Letter from the VA (they’re good for 90 days). The VA sent one, but it was for a different clinic. I called that clinic and of course there was no record of me. The clerk said he’d look into it and call me back. He didn’t.
So I got on the horn and requested another Authorization Letter for the right clinic, which I received, only it was too late for April scheduling. My next appointment is scheduled for June 3. When I asked if there was a wait list, I heard, “You can come to the emergency room.”
I reiterate that once you get beneath the bureaucratic layer, I’ve found the doctors, PAs, and nurses attentive, caring, and competent. However, I can see why some men and women become so frustrated with the bureaucracy that they resort to drastic action. I’m not at that point and pray never to be.
Meanwhile … I slog on with cloudy eyesight.